- Vet suicides ‘horrible human cost’ of VA dysfunction: lawmaker
- First marijuana customer in Spokane says he was fired
- Hagel: ‘Make no mistake,’ ISIL is an ‘imminent’ threat to U.S.
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to ‘fight for national sovereignty’
- Coburn calls hiring of embattled background check firm ‘troubling’
- World Cup: It’s raining men in Brazil as women samba with visitors
- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl captured in photo smiling with Taliban jihadist
- Germany demands ouster of U.S. spy chief
- GOP senators knock EPA power grab
- ‘Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 19 Emmy nods
German privacy watchdog dislikes Facebook’s “Like”
Question of the Day
BERLIN (AP) - A German data protection authority is “unliking” Facebook’s “Like” button.
The state of Schleswig-Holstein’s data protection commissioner, Thilo Weichert, on Friday ordered state institutions to shut down the fan pages on the social networking site and remove the “Like” button from their websites, saying it leads to profiling that violates German and European law.
Facebook insisted Friday that is in full compliance with European data protection laws.
On Friday, Weichert issued a statement saying technical analysis by his office shows Facebook violated German and European data protection laws by passing content data to the social network’s servers in the U.S.
“Whoever visits facebook.com or uses a plug-in must expect that he or she will be tracked by the company for two years,” Weichert said. “Facebook builds a broad individual and for members even a personalized profile.”
A Facebook spokesman conceded that the company can see “information such as the IP address” of users who visit a site with a “Like” button.
“We delete this technical data within 90 days,” said the spokesman, who did not give his name in keeping with company policy. “That is in keeping with normal industry standards.”
Weichert’s office ordered website owners in Schleswig-Holstein to “immediately stop the passing on of user data to Facebook in the USA by deactivating the respective services” and threatened to take legal action if they fail to comply.
He also urged Internet users in general to “keep their fingers from clicking on social plug-ins” and “not set up a Facebook account” to avoid being profiled.
The keepers of Germany’s strict privacy laws have repeatedly clashed on issues of privacy with international Internet giants, such as Facebook and Google _ often with success.
Last year Google allowed Germans who opposed its Street View mapping system to blur images of their homes, while Facebook in January granted members more control over their email address books, after a dispute over its “Friend Finder” service.
Germany’s latest spat with the Palo Alto, California-based Facebook also comes a week after a leading member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party in Schleswig-Holstein stepped down after admitting to having an affair with a 16-year-old he met over the social networking site.
Christian von Boetticher’s resignation sparked a debate about the role of social media in politicians’ lives, with German newspapers carrying reports from party members, angry that the state legislator spent more time posting personal information to Facebook than focusing on his job. He has since deleted his Facebook profile.
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- White House plans for bowling alley upgrades abruptly canceled
- IRS employee suspended for pro-Obama activities
- HUSAIN: The fake caliph of 'The Islamic State'
- HUSAR: Mexicos Pena Nieto passes the immigration bucket
- Va. Democrat reportedly seeks nude shots of Kendall Jones
- Harry Reid lambasted by black conservatives after calling Justice Thomas white
- EDITORIAL: Whats Obama hiding at illegal-alien 'refugee' camps?
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
- 4 children, parents killed in Texas shooting
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener